TORONTO – Ben Scrivens is looking to add his name to the list of Toronto’s goaltending prospects.
Ben Scrivens stopped 32 shots in just his second start with the Marlies and Josh Engel scored in the final minute Saturday to lift Toronto to a 2-1 victory over the Syracuse Crunch.
Engel lifted a shot over Timo Pielmeier with 49 seconds to play as the Marlies won a third straight game.
Simon Gysbers scored the other goal for the Marlies. Nathan Paetsch had the only marker for the Crunch.
Pielmeier made 36 saves in goal for Syracuse, which has now lost seven straight.
Scrivens got the start after Jussi Rynnas backstopped the Marlies (12-8-3) to a win Friday night in Rochester over the Americans. He looked sharp against a punch-less Crunch attack.
“Brian Burke has done a great job restocking our goalies and (goaltending coach) Francois Allaire is hands-on with these guys,” said Marlies coach Dallas Eakins.
“Ben is playing great. He’s so cool in the net and so calm, where usually you see a guy called up from the (ECHL) he’s rattled and he’s all over his net. (Scrivens) looks like he’s been playing in this league for a few years.”
Scrivens finds himself behind Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Jonas Gustavsson, James Reimer and Jussi Rynnas, but he has no regrets about signing with Toronto in the off-season.
“I took a look a where I was in terms of my development and my game, and I thought I’d benefit a lot from a chance to work with Allaire and the whole coaching staff in Toronto,” Scrivens said.
“I knew I wasn’t going to be able to jump straight into the NHL. For myself, it was a decision where I was going to get the best opportunity and the best coaching to develop. I’m still extremely happy with my decision to sign here.”
Syracuse (6-10-4) is second-last in the league with just 16 points and has the league’s worst offense, scoring only 44 goals in 20 games this season.
Toronto opened the scoring midway through a lacklustre first period. Gysbers picked up a juicy rebound from Pielmeier and buried a slapshot just inside the post for his second goal of the season.
After a scoreless second period, Paetsch tied the game midway through the third as his long point shot drifted past the glove hand of Scrivens.
The Crunch appeared to take the lead with a goal late in the third, but referee Dave Lewis waved the goal off because the net was dislodged.
The win was Marlies first of the season when outshooting their opponent. Previously, they had lost all seven games in which they had more shots.
Eakins cites two reasons for the team’s improved play.
“We have four forward lines who thought they should be on the power play and we had four forward lines that all thought they should kill penalties,” he said. “Finally, I had to let it sort out to see who could do what best … The roles have been clearly defined. It just took a little time.
“We’re just comfortable with our game. We play a real simple, hardworking, dirty game. Our guys like it and now they’re comfortable in it.”
The Marlies don’t play again until next Friday, when they host division-rival Abbotsford in the first of back-to-back games against the Heat.
Notes:The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Saturday that forward Mikhail Stefanovich has been loaned to the Minsk Dynamo of the Kontinental Hockey League. Stefanovich, 21, is playing in his first professional season after being selected in the third round, 98th overall, in the 2008 Entry Draft by Toronto. He is without a point in two games with the Marlies in 2010-11. In four games with Reading of the ECHL he recorded three goals and two assists. … The Marlies went 2-6-0 in October but finished November with a 10-2-3 record … Joffrey Lupul, who was assigned to the Crunch by the Anaheim Ducks, played his first game since undergoing back surgery last December … Despite being called up to the Leafs more than two weeks ago, Nazem Kadri is tied for the team lead in points (14) with Justin Hodgman … The Marlies have gotten points in 13 of their last 15 games … Announced attendance was 4,036.